Since I wrote about alpacas, it’s only fair that I write about merino wool, another favourite fibre. Merino wool, as you’ve probably guessed already, comes from merino sheep. Did you know that there’s several varieties of merino sheep, including the Saxony and Peppin? You can impress your friends with the fun trivia that you learn visiting here.
Merino is prized due to its softness, warmth and ability to wick water. Merino wool is excellent at regulating body temperature and even has antibacterial properties thanks to the lanolin in the wool.
Merino ewes and lambs.
Another fun fact: merino wool is available in several grades based on its coarseness: strong (broad), medium, fine, super fine and ultra fine. Ultra fine can be blended with luxury fibres such as cashmere or silk to produce a lightweight and highly insulating yarn.
Some of my favourite yarns are made from single ply 100% merino, including RainCityKnits and Madelinetosh. They are absolutely lovely to work with and come in a great array of colours.
And to be fair since I showed a picture of a cria at the end of the alpaca post, here is the requisite lamb photo! Enjoy the cuteness.